Posts Tagged ‘Triathlons’

Ugh, running.

May 12, 2011

You may or may not know this, but I really don’t like running.  You wouldn’t know it with two triathlons, two half marathons and a handful of 5ks under my belt, but seriously, I don’t enjoy as much as I think I should.

Part of the problem is that I’m too slow.  I feel like I should be running a faster pace than I usually do and the fact that I can’t, frustrates me.  Sure, I’ve improved since I first started training for races and there are days that I look forward to a run, but most of the time I don’t.  The reason for that is that during the run and especially after, I’m in a lot of pain.

Now I don’t suffer the usual runner’s pain of aching knees, sore hamstrings or even shin splints.  Nope, my problem is my feet.  I’ve had issues with them since I was a pre-teen and while some corrective measures have helped, at the end of the day (or a run), my feet HURT.  And yet I keep running, hoping I’ll one day finish a run and not be in pain.  That day came last week.

All the usual treadmills at the gym were being used, so I hopped on one that I (and everyone else) usually go to as a last resort.  I can’t explain why, except maybe it’s because the control panel doesn’t have bells and whistles like a personal trainer or a fan (which is why I always skipped over them).  There’s also less space to put your stuff one, just two little nets to hold everything.  It’s called the Woodway and it’s with hesitation that I tried it.  I’ll never use the other treadmills again.

Right off the bat, I knew it was different.  When I picked up the speed, there wasn’t that usual pounding sound you hear when running on the regular treadmills.  It also didn’t feel as if I was landing as hard, more like I was running on a dirt path through the woods.  (Maybe that’s genesis of the name?)  I set out to run 3.5 miles that workout and expected the usually pain in my feet around 2.25 miles, but it never came.  In fact I made it through the whole run with only some minimal discomfort by the end of it.

I thought maybe it was a fluke, so I tried the treadmill again today.  Same thing.  So I looked up the company.  Apparently Woodways are designed to minimize shock.  Needless to say, I’m never going back to those old pounding treadmills again!   I do have one request however to the designers over at Woodway…could we maybe get a model with a built-in fan?  Thanks in advance!

The 100 calorie rule

February 24, 2011

If you’re training for an endurance race like a half marathon, marathon or triathlon, you’ve probably read that you need to incorporate sports drinks or gels or bars at some point during your long workout sessions.  But if you’re new to endurance training and are used to drinking just water during your workouts, the transition can be confusing. 

How many extra calories do you need to take in and at what point during your run or ride should you start?  Here are the general rules:

  • During any workout up to one hour, plain water is fine. 

In fact, if you’re a just a regular gym rat (read: not training for anything) you should stick to just water.  Consider this: a woman weighing 150 pounds burns 98 calories per mile run.  The average sports drink contains 125 calories per bottle.  That means you’d have to run roughly 1.25 miles  before you actually start burning more calories than you’ve consumed. 

  • For those of us who are tackling training runs/rides in excess of an hour, it’s recommended to consume 100 calories or 30 grams of carbohydrate (drink or gel) for every hour beyond the 60 minute mark.

As for what to eat and/or drink, I prefer the fruity sports snacks like Gatorade, Powerade and Clif Shot Bloks.  Gu is also good if you’re looking for something really sweet. 

And here’s a tip if you’re planning on consuming the Bloks or Gu during a race…make sure you eat it near a water station.  You’re going to need the water to wash that stuff down because it has a tendency of sticking your jaw shut.

12 days of sporty gifts — Day 9 — Basket full of joy

December 21, 2010

So you’ve left your holiday shopping to the last minute and are running out of time, but you still want to get a personal gift (not a gift card).  So what can you do?

How about a basket full of sports drinks, supplements and accessories?  It’s like one of those gourmet foodie baskets, but with the athlete in mind.

Instead of bottles of wine, buy bottles of Gatorade, Powerade and/or Vitamin Water.  Skip the chocolate and instead go for protein bars and energy bars.  If you’re shopping for an endurance athlete, throw in some packets of Gu or Cliff Shot Bloks.  You might also want to add a pair of running socks, a hydration belt, a water bottle, some muscle cream or one of those books from Day 6 to round things out.  Arrange it in a basket, slap on a Christmas bow and voila! you have a gift any athlete would be happy to receive.

And remember…you only have 4 shopping days left!

12 days of sporty gift ideas

December 13, 2010

There are only 12 shopping days left ’til Christmas and if you have an athlete on your gift list, fear not.  Between now and the big day I’ll have 12 great ideas for the active person(s) in your life.

Seeing as it’s still early, you can still get away with ordering a gift online and having it delivered in time for December 25th.  With that in mind, why not gift some branded athletic gear for the next big race on that athlete’s schedule?

Whether she’s training for the New York City triathlon, a marathon or an Ironman, the race is bound to have T-shirts, sweatshirts, bike jerseys, hats and other accessories stamped with the race logo. 

My favorites tend to be the ones that have “In Training” stamped on them (like this one).  I’m also a big fan of the NYC Marathon gloves that list the names of the five boroughs on the fingertips.

I’ll also let you in on a little secret.  These clothes are something we’d love to buy for ourselves, but often don’t because we have too many other things to pay for like entry fees, sneakers and extra tire tubes. 

Here are links to some of the biggest online race stores:

New York City ING Marathon

Nautica New York City Triathlon

Ironman Gifts

Still looking for that perfect gift?  Don’t worry…I’ll bring you another idea tomorrow.

Snow, schmo

November 23, 2010

If you think snow would keep a triathlete from competing, you’d be wrong. 

Since 1997, something called winter triathlon has been gaining popularity among those people who want the thrill of the triathlon even though they live in areas where temperatures routinely hover near the freezing mark.

Photo: USA Triathlon

Like your normal triathlons, these November-March races involve biking and running, but thankfully no swimming.  Instead, competitors strap on cross-country skis for the third leg of the race.  The distances are also a little shorter than

your regular races.  This very thorough description comes from the USA Triathlon website:

“In winter triathlon, the running is contested on hard-packed snow courses (usually packed ski trails) with distances ranging from 5-9K. Racers typically wear normal running shoes or cross country spikes.

The mountain bike leg is held on packed ski trails for a distance of 10-15K. Competitors ride standard racing mountain bikes, often equipped with relatively wide tires run at low (about 15-20 psi) pressure. Tires with spikes are legal, though most competitors shun their use because of the additional weight.

The final event of winter triathlon is cross-country skiing. Courses are usually 8-12K in length and are contested on groomed Nordic ski trails. Classic or freestyle (skating) techniques are allowed, though most serious competitors use the freestyle technique as it is faster. Athletes wear Nordic ski suits or tights and long sleeve jerseys, gloves, and hats or head-bands depending on conditions.”

If I’ve piqued your interest, you’ll naturally want to know where you can sign up for one of these awesome races.  Most are held in the Rocky Mountain area, but races in the Northeast can also be found.  There’s two being held in Massachusetts and another in New Hampshire in January. (Info can be found here.)   In New York, the place to be is Belleayre Mountain on March 20th.

So, see, there’s still time to train!

Take the money and run

October 5, 2010

Over the last few years, I’ve entered in a handful of races.  They’ve all been competitions I’ve wanted to participate in, but I’ve noticed something of late.  They’re getting expensive!

 Take, for example, the Disney Princess Half Marathon which is scheduled to happen in February at Disney World.  If you were to sign up for the race today, it’d set you back $140.  $140! 

Want to run in the prestigious New York City Marathon?  If  you can snag a spot, you’ll have to cough up $185 dollars to run 26.2 grueling miles.

And over the past three years, I’ve paid upwards of $500 to compete in three triathlons.

Now, I understand it costs a lot to put on races of such magnitudes, but come on.  I shouldn’t have to break the bank to run in a handful of races every year.  If the logic is that without all that money I wouldn’t be able to get a free T-shirt, a banana and maybe a medal at the finish…then I say keep the trinkets.  (Although I guess you could argue I’ve saved a lot of money by not having to buy PJs, since I have all those T-shirts).  But seriously, just let me compete!  I’ll even pay for the banana and bagel.

Here’s to tri-ing hard

July 30, 2010

Some teammate I am.  Two weeks after we swam, biked and ran our way around New York City, I still have yet to honor the accomplishments of my triathlon team.  Until today. 

Swim! Bike! Run!

 

I’ll have you know we turned in a decent time of 3:24:14.   That’s not bad for two newbie triathletes and an old pro.  What’s more…we didn’t finish in last place!

As for the individuals…our swimmer JC blew it out of the water with a time of 19:21.

I burned rubber on the bike (if I do say so myself), turning in a time of 1:45:47, beating last year’s time by more than 11 minutes.

And our runner RH battled the high temps and didn’t pass out, clocking in at 73:45 .

So congrats team…you did good!

Now onto the next one!  In my case that’s an obstacle filled 5K called the Warrior Dash and then a women-only half marathon on Long Island in the fall.

Ode to the Triathlon

July 13, 2010

This is it!  The last week before the NYC Triathlon.  The last few training sessions before race day.  Even though I’m competing as part of a relay team this year, I’m beat!  I can’t wait to say goodbye to  hour plus workouts three times a week.  In honor of the end of this year’s training season, I’ve written a triathlon haiku.  Hope you like it!  (I’d also like to send a special shoutout to my relay partners.  Go Newsflashers!)

Swim! Bike! Run!

Race day is Sunday!

Trained hard.  Hope I finish fast,

and don’t fall off bike!

Spinning Your Wheels

November 5, 2009

Some mornings, despite the best of intentions, we don’t make it to the gym or that spin class we had to sign up for two days beforehand because it fills up so fast. 

Enter spinning podcasts. 28_spinclass_lg

These are exactly what they sound like…spin classes in podcast form. 

No longer are you beholden to set spin times and crowded classes.  Now you can get the calorie-blasting workout that you love (and crave) on your own time. 

One of my fave spin podcasters is Trihardist.  Her music picks are good (a spin essential) and she keeps the talking to a minimum, which really lets you to get into a riding groove.  The “classes” are about 45 minutes long and include a warm-up, cool-down and stretch.

If you need more encouraging, just remember that you can burn upwards of 500 calories during a spin class.